I’ve bounced back from cancer and want to get Pretty Muddy

Kat hanson jill cow web

Jill Cow’s life changed four years ago when she was diagnosed with cancer, but now she is urging women to sign up for the Pretty Muddy events

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4th August 2017 by TFN Guest 0 Comments

I was diagnosed with Hodgkin’s Lymphoma in January 2014. I had been feeling very tired and was in a great deal of pain due to a mass that had developed on my chest.

A blood test and biopsy at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh showed that I had cancer and swift action was required.

Being told I had cancer was frightening but also actually a bit surreal. I just felt very distant from what was happening. It was almost as though the consultant was talking about someone else. From there, it was all a bit of a whirlwind. The hospital staff were very efficient.

After having a blood-clot removed from neck, I started chemotherapy treatment which took place every second week for six months until July 2014.

Then in April 2015, just when life was starting to get back to normal, doctors became worried about the results of a routine scan which showed that one of my lymph nodes was swollen.

I was really devastated by the diagnosis but also reassured by the speed at which the hospital staff got to work. This time the treatment was much more intensive and I also had to have a stem cell transplant.

Throughout it all, the thought of attending my brother Andrew’s wedding at a beautiful seaside location near Melbourne kept me going.

I was also visited frequently by my friend Kat, who also works at the Western General Hospital in Edinburgh where I am an occupational therapist, and was with me every step of the way.

Kat was very good at popping in even if it was just for 10 minutes, especially when I was in isolation because of the treatment. That ten minutes made all the difference, to have a chat or have a laugh about something silly. When you’re in that position, it’s just so nice to have company and a familiar face. It made it all feel a little less intense.

Since treatment ended, I’m keeping well and my energy levels are improving all the time. I lost my hair through treatment and that’s grown back slowly.

Now my goals are very simple – grasp every opportunity life presents, not put anything off and try to live as healthy a life as I can.

I’m determined to do all I can in the fight against cancer. That’s why I’m urging women in Scotland to take part in Race for Life Pretty Muddy. No matter how much money you raise, it’ll help to fund crucial cancer research to help more people, just like me, survive.

My experience means I understand all too clearly why Cancer Research UK’s work is so important. I believe it’s thanks to research that I’m standing here today.

Pretty Muddy is a women-only, non-competitive 5k obstacle course – with added mud, thrills and spills. Events take place in Edinburgh and Glasgow on September 16, and Ayr on September 30. To enter Race for Life Pretty Muddy, visit the Race For Life website or call 0300 123 0770.

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